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It is not easy to land your dream clients as a commercial photographer...

But it is not impossible.

Commercial photography is undoubtedly a very competitive field. Here are four pieces of advice coming from a commercial photographer that will give you a career boost if you're just starting out:

  1. Constantly Improve Your Portfolio: Engage in creative work, even if it's unpaid, and share the work that you like and aspire to do in the future. This approach is crucial as it attracts clients who are similar to what you share. You don't have to share every photo you've ever taken. Stick to what best showcases your vision and style, and you'll notice the impact it can have compared to sharing everything you do or get paid for.

  2. Network Actively: Don't forget to tell everyone you know (or at least people you trust/like/work with, but as many as possible) about what you're doing. I see so many hidden talents waiting for a chance to be seen. If you don't have social media or a website, if you're not reaching out to potential customers, not sharing your work in Facebook groups, and not telling anyone about your capabilities, how are your future clients supposed to find you?

  3. Stay Updated: Keep up with social media trends, influential people, popular items, styles, and colors. This can improve your taste and knowledge, and provide you with valuable insights that help you stay relevant and curate your work accordingly.

  4. Find Your Niche and Style: This is crucial! I've observed many aspiring photographers simply replicating what everyone else is doing, taking on jobs they dislike, etc. It's not wrong to explore as many different areas of photography as possible initially, but trust me, high-paying clients won’t hire you for commercial product photography if they only see you doing children's birthdays and friend portraits. Try as much as you need to, but afterward, try to find a specialty where you can excel and be extraordinary. Getting recognized really relies a lot on your personal style and finding your own niche. And I mean really niching down. For example, product photography is a broad field, but you will probably be most successful if you focus on just 1-3 types of products (e.g., perfumes, jewelry, beauty products photography as in my case). That doesn’t mean you cannot also do other types of product photography, but focusing and niching down will allow you to master your craft and attract the clients that you want.

In conclusion, starting a career in commercial photography can be challenging (but rewarding), especially when equipped with the right strategies. By continuously improving your portfolio, actively networking, staying aware of current trends, and finding your unique niche, you set the foundation for a successful career. Each piece of advice offered here is derived from real-world experience from a commercial photographer and is designed to help you not only meet but exceed the expectations in the dynamic field of photography. Remember, the path to success involves showcasing your distinctive style and vision, which are key to attracting the clients you desire. Start implementing these strategies today, and watch as your photography career takes a significant leap forward.

For more tips on commercial photography see other articles in my blog.


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